Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One of you has fallen in love....

With a cardigan! And you're somewhat concerned that you won't wear it enough to make it worth the purchase...

This is the winsome object of her affections:

yellow print Dandelion cardigan from Lands' End
cardigan - Lands' End

She assures me that she really loves the yellow, but has never worn it. And she's very devoted to her black and white neutrals:

yellow print Dandelion cardigan from Lands' End with a color palette
cardigan - Lands' End

I don't think she's going to have any problems at all - realistically, I think she need to maybe buy 1 thing for each of these outfits to pull everything together.

In these first 2 outfits, she'll want to grab those delicious sandals, and the bracelets will be essential... (and they come in SEVEN colors, including turquoise, a gorgeous fake tortoise, and a lovely green)

black dress with yellow floral cardigan, shorts and a tee shirt with a floral cardigan

Another pair of yellow sandals might be overdoing it. Maybe. And the yellow tee shirt - assuming she can find a yellow that's close enough for clothes - would be genius.

yellow floral dandelion cardigan with a tank and shorts, and with a tee shirt and jeans

For air-conditioning, I think a yellow wrap would be handy, as well as pulling together the outfit. And if she's feeling REALLY bold, she could go with a striped top under the floral cardigan. (I like to toss out some wild ideas, from time to time!)

yellow floral dandelion cardigan with a tee shirt and skirt, and with a striped tee and black pants

Overall, these six outfits might require her to buy one or two new garments. Doesn't this look like it might also make a great travel wardrobe?

12 piece travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and yellow, to work with a yellow floral cardigan

Accessories might be a bigger investment, but she could certainly manage with just one pair of yellow sandals... then a scarf and a set of bracelets - that's not a big "color experiment" if you truly are tempted by yellow. I'm assuming that she already had a penchant for the floral, and already owned the flower jewelry...

accessories in black, silver and yellow, to work with a capsule wardrobe focused on a yellow floral cardigan

Now, you might absolutely detest this sweater - I can appreciate that. But I think the lesson is still valid - if you're madly tempted by something that works 80% with your wardrobe, ask yourself if you're willing to invest your wardrobe for warm weather in experimenting with that 20% that's new and fresh. It might be a different way to liven up your neutrals, and maybe discover a new accent color for long-term!


p.s. I'm not quite back on my normal "5 day a week" posting schedule, but I'm getting there soon!

How to Build a Warm-Weather Capsule Wardrobe - The Dandelion Cardigan
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Monday, January 30, 2017

So far, so good for my year without shopping!

Buy less, choose well, make it last quote from Vivienne Westwood

I bought one thing in early January, using a gift card that I received for Christmas. I've been searching for a hands-free way to carry essentials when I travel, and I never have much luck with crossbody bags. When I saw this very modestly sized - but not twee - backpack, I knew it would work well. It holds my travel toiletries, my tablet, and my backup phone battery, so it's just about perfect. So far... 

I really like it's low key look - just the one logo, simple leather zipper pulls etc. And I'm the kind of person who always gets confused when I have a bag with lots and lots of pockets. "You'll be so organized..." Nope, I'm just rummaging around trying to remember what I put where. This has a bit of a sleeve in the (striped!) interior, to keep my tablet in place, but otherwise it's the small exterior pocket for keys and small stuff, and one big gaping maw for everything else!  Time will tell, eh?

A perfect small travel backpack
backpack - Herschel

I'm not changing my building blocks for February; they've been fine so far, and I don't know that it makes any sense to tinker with success:

Building blocks from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping

Ah, here's a change!

First off, why a brown sweater? Well, before I went to Paris, back in December, I was sorting through my scarves, and I ran across an old Hermes scarf that I haven't worn in ages. Brown and black...

So when I was in Paris, in the really cool Uniqlo store on the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, and I saw the table of cashmere sweaters on sale for 59,90€, I immediately thought of brown. Thus, here it is!

And I think that many of us in the Northern Hemisphere use Valentine's Day as a way to sneak a lot of pink and red into our wardrobes! For me, although I know rationally that the days have been getting longer since before Christmas, I don't believe it's true, in my heart of hearts. So anything that brightens up a day is worthwhile. Tans have faded (and should stay faded forever!), hair that lightens in the sun is growing out, and we all need a bit of flattering color near our faces!

The star cardigan? Cozy, warm, whimsical. February also needs whimsy!

Target garments from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
sweater - Uniqlo; tee - Other Stories;
tee - L.L.Bean;
cardigan - J.Jill; star cardigan - Rika

As I did last month, I'm showing a few ways that these pieces can come together and be worn. These 17 pieces would make a pretty varied travel wardrobe, if I go anywhere this month. (oh please, let's just stay home a bit...)

3 Outfits from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
earrings - Majorica; scarf - Hermes; loafers - Trotters;
scarf - Hermes;earrings - Lord & Taylor; boots - Munro;
scarf - Hermes; earrings - Majorica;  boots - Munro; bracelet - Majorica

3 Outfits from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
boots - Born; scarf - Nordstrom;
boots - Munro; earrings - Lord & Taylor; bracelet - Hermes
shoes - New Balance; headband - J.Crew

3 Outfits from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
scarf - Hermes; boots - Born; earrings - Majorica;
loafers - Trotters; earrings - Lord & Taylor; scarf - Hermes;
earrings - A Mano; scarf - Hermes; boots - Munro

3 Outfits from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
earrings - Majorica; boots - Born; necklace - Majorica;
necklace - Majorica; boots - Munro;
scarf - Nordstrom; shoes - New Balance

3 Outfits from a capsule wardrobe in a year without shopping
earrings - Latelita London; boots - Born;
brooch - vintage;  boots - Munro;
boots - Bogs

I think I'll survive another month without shopping, no problem.


p.s. If everything goes according to plan, I'll be back to normal work in time to do February 1st's 12 Months, 12 Outfits post on time. If I'm delayed somewhere, somehow, I'll try to post something just to keep you in the loop. You know I'm hurrying to get back to work, and to you all!

More from my 2017 Year Without Shopping Series:

A Year Without Shopping - February's Goals
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Friday, January 27, 2017

I saw this when I was in Paris in December; it's stunning...

Le Reve by Puvis de Chavannes
Le Rêve by Puvis de Chavannnes

Finally, Her Work is "Trendy"

Le Reve by Puvis de Chavannes with style guidelines and color palette

She's spent her entire career studying ways to forecast how many hours of sunshine there will be in any location, on any day in the near future. It's weather related, of course....

blue and grey travel outfit

But now that everybody is finally concerned with solar energy, her work is a "big deal..."

A travel capsule wardrobe in a blue a grey color pallet for a weekend business trip

So she goes to all of the conferences, does the presentations, attends the dinners, shakes the hands, answers the questions...

A travel capsule wardrobe in a blue a grey color pallet for a weekend business trip

She's got the packing down to a science....

A travel capsule wardrobe in a blue a grey color pallet for a weekend business trip

But she really only got into this line of work because she loves to look up at the sky, and dream... The rest is simply a way to justify gazing upward for hours at a time.

How to pack a  travel capsule wardrobe in a blue a grey color pallet for a weekend business trip
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

By the time this is posted, I will in fact be back from Ireland, and in Florida! My head spins at the very thought....

But my packing for Ireland is pretty compact (as usual) and I had a specific approach that might be worth keeping in mind.

First off, my travel outfit, which includes one of my "target garments" to try to wear a lot in January:

A travel capsule wardrobe with what to pack for Dublin, Ireland in winter
earrings - Majorica; sweater - L.L.Bean; turtleneck - Lands' End;
parka - Lands' End; scarf - Nordstrom; corduroy pants - NYDJ;
backpack - Herschel; tote bag - L.L.Bean;
loafers - Stuart Weitzman (similar here)

Please note that I'm also checking a suitcase, because I am of course bringing undergarments and pajamas with me, as well as fleece leggings and a couple of wool base layer shirts. I've got gloves and a couple of Buff fabric gizmos in my parka pockets, too!

Because the whole purpose of this trip is to reacquaint ourselves with Dublin, we're going to be walking a lot, and thus I'm packing hiking shoes AND athletic shoes. They're both very bulky, so scaling down the clothing I'm taking is essential...

Note that I've included 2 cotton turtlenecks and my black dress, that are all on my "things to target in January" list. I made the January list with this in mind! 

A travel capsule wardrobe with what to pack for Dublin, Ireland in winter
turtleneck - Lands' End; scarf - Julie Egli;
dotted turtleneck - Muji;printed turtlenecks - Lands' End;
scarf - Nordstrom; denim shirt - J.Crew;
hooded sweater - L.L.Bean; natural sweater - L.L.Bean;
jeans - L.L.Bean; black jeans - NYDJ; dress - J.Jill;
black shoes - New Balance; hiking shoes - Keen

This doesn't really seem like a lot, but the beige sweater is bulky, and I'm going to have quite a few pair of wool socks, so I'm going to be pretty thoroughly loaded!

A travel capsule wardrobe with what to pack for Dublin, Ireland in winter

So there's a method here! I'm going to have 3 pair of pants with me - two pairs of jeans, and the corduroy pants that I'm wearing on the plane. Each of those pairs of pants will have a sweater that's (more or less) designated to be worn with them. And THEN, I have two options for what to wear under the sweater...

Yes, we're assuming that we're going to need to wear layers every day. We might cram our down vests into our bags on the off chance to see a warm-ish day, but we're resigned to carrying our parkas if it really heats up. (ha - that's NOT going to happen...)

And the only thing that we might do that dressy is go out for a dinner or two. My black velour dress of all tasks will be fine with opaque tights and my flat loafers, as well as any of the 3 scarves. Yes, I'll have to wear my parka with my dress. We're not going to any restaurant SO fancy that this would be an issue!

The logic behind the Dublin travel capsule wardrobe

And most important of all, we're staying in an AirB&B apartment, so we're going to do laundry at least once, probably twice, during our 11 nights there. 

I'm not concerned about having enough clothes, nor about staying warm enough. After being in single-digit Chicago, Ireland will feel positively balmy!

A winter travel capsule wardrobe - What to pack for Ireland in winter
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Monday, January 23, 2017

On Friday, I expanded the original travel capsule wardrobe into a more complete "Four x Four" capsule wardrobe, but the real fun comes with adding more accessories!

When our heroine originally packed for her winter weekend on the farm, these were her accessories - lots of scarves!

Accessory capsule wardrobe in black beige and denim blue
bracelet – Pamela Love; earrings - Estella Bartlett;  
hat & gloves – The North Face; watch – Leonard and Church;  
infinity scarf – Duffy; poncho – Chico’s;  
beige scarf – Polo Ralph Lauren;  
black & beige scarf - Treasure&Bond;
 beige socks – J. Crew; slippers – UGG; boots – Sorel

Just for reference purposes, and to enjoy this painting one last time, this is her style inspiration:

Winter Scene in Moonlight by Henry Farrer, with style guidelines and color palette

For normal life, constantly wearing boots won't work, so we probably should start by getting her a comfy pair of loafers...

Adding black loafers to a capsule wardrobe

And just because I'm bracelet mad these days, another star bracelet could be a fun addition. It's a good thing that I'm in a shopping moratorium this year, because these ALL are very appealing...

Adding a star bracelet to a capsule wardrobe

And of course, most women want a nice handbag...

Adding a black hobo bag to a capsule wardrobe

Earrings! You might never wear them, but for those of us who do, a 2nd pair is essential:

Adding fun earrings to a capsule wardrobe

Scarves are very important in cold weather, but every now and then it will be warm enough to take OFF your scarf; a necklace is a nice little detail at the neckline of this simple denim dress:

Adding a gold necklace to a capsule wardrobe

Most of us are finding that our ankle boots are pretty frequently worn, so I'm considering them essential, for this heroine.

Adding short black boots to a capsule wardrobe

I don't know why, but we often forget that we can wear more than 1 or 2 rings. They don't have to be lavish, life-long investments, either!

Adding a gold ring to a capsule wardrobe

And if you've got to wear socks, make them fun!

Adding novelty socks to a capsule wardrobe

This is such a great wardrobe now; it could almost make one wish for the prolongation of cold weather. 

a "4 by 4" Travel Capsule Wardrobe in black, khaki, denim and white, with accessories


How to add accessories to a winter travel capsule wardrobe in a blue, black, white, and beige color palette
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